A deal to save 2,000 jobs at eight UK coal mines was announced today as their owner went into administration.
UK Coal, which runs Kellingley Colliery near Knottingley, collapsed after a devastating fire that closed its Daw Mill pit in Warwickshire in March.
After some restructuring and receiving help from the Government's Pension Protection Fund 700 jobs at Kellingley will be saved, as well as 650 at Thoresby in North Nottinghamshire and 50 at its headquarters in Doncaster.
A solvent recycling firm in West Yorkshire has been prosecuted for safety failings that led to a major spillage of nearly 4,000 litres of highly flammable liquid from a road tanker.
Employees at Tradebe Solvent Recycling Ltd in Knottingley were exposed to serious risk that the liquid might ignite.
Three workers waded into the pool of harmful liquid when it was discovered. One used his finger to block a drain hole.
Wakefield Magistrates heard that no steps were taken to immediately halt traffic movements on the site, producing a risk of it setting alight.
The incident, in December 2011, was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive, which brought a prosecution for safety failings against Tradebe Solvent Recycling Ltd.
Tradebe Solvent Recycling Ltd admitted breaching Health and Safety laws and was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £2,070 in costs.
This was a serious incident involving nearly 4,000 litres of flammable liquid, which could have been ignited by more than one source. The nature of the business carried out on the site, where flammable liquids are processed for re-use, meant that there was a risk that a major fire could occur.
Tradebe Solvent Recycling failed to ensure there were robust safety procedures for filling tankers and a safe system in place for shift changeover – a time that is widely recognised as a potential weakness within industry. There were also failings in the training and instruction given to workers.
At the company’s Heysham site in Lancashire, a tanker was overfilled in similar circumstances in 2008 and controls were implemented afterwards by the company using ‘full’ and ‘empty’ indicator boards. The same measures had not been introduced at Knottingley and, had they been so, this incident could have been avoided.
Companies whose businesses rely on the handling of hazardous substances with the potential to cause serious injuries, and even death, cannot afford to be complacent and should have adequate systems to control the risks that they generate.
West Yorkshire Police have also released a statement to mark the 20 year anniversary of the disappearance of Sean Thompson.
“Jean and Ruth have been waiting twenty years to find out what’s happened to their son and brother and I would like to facilitate their reunion.
“It is very unusual for someone to not be seen or heard of for this amount of time. Someone will know where Sean is.
“We have digitally enhanced a photo of Sean through the age progression process to show what he could look like now twenty years on.
“Take a look at the image and let us know if you recognise him or may have seen someone who looks like this.
– DCI Neil Lineham, of West Yorkshire Police’s Homicide and Major Enquiry Team
“Sean if you are watching, listening or reading this please get in touch so we know you are safe and well.
“Sean had a distinctive gait and suffered from the medical condition Metatarsus Varus meaning he walked on his tip toes.
“It is possible that he has received treatment for this condition since his disappearance and no longer walks in this way.
“I would like to speak to anyone who may know someone who does walk in this fashion or who has previously walked in this way and they fit Sean’s description to contact the police.
“I would like to stress Sean has not committed any criminal acts.
“My investigation is to try and locate Sean, a young man who was reported missing from home.
“I would like nothing more than to reunite this family with Sean but if there is any reason why this isn’t possible I would like Sean to contact the police or the Missing People charity in the strictest of confidence.”
Anyone with any information about Sean’s whereabouts is asked to contact West Yorkshire Police via 101.
For information about the search for Sean follow the hashtag #findseanthompson on Twitter.
Twenty years after a man from West Yorkshire was reported missing, his family have made an emotional plea for information about his disappearance.
Sean Thompson was 25 when he left his home in Knottingley on March 18 1993 to go to the job centre.
Detectives investigating his disappearance have digitally enhanced an image of Sean to show what he could look like today at the age of 45.
Ruth Thompson-Douglas, Sean’s sister, said: "Sean's now been missing for 20 years and they always say times a healer, but for us it hasn’t been, as we have no idea where Sean is, it's like he's literally fallen off the face of the earth.
“We live everyday hoping he will walk back into our lives and we will know he is safe.
“Sean was very quiet but would do anything for anyone; he was very kind, friendly and caring."
My officers acted upon concerns raised within the community and I would appeal to the public to contact the police if they have any information with regards to people who are supplying or producing controlled drugs.
– Inspector Richard Sullivan of the Pontefract and Knottingley Neighbourhood Policing Team